Federal aviation authorities announced Monday that they are fining Twin Cities-based Sun Country Airlines nearly $115,000, alleging it violated drug and alcohol screening requirements for a pilot and other employees in safety-sensitive positions.
The pilot flew for seven months without being made eligible for required random drug and alcohol testing, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.
The FAA also said Sun Country failed to conduct pre-employment drug tests and also failed to receive verified negative results before hiring or transferring a mechanic and three flight attendants into safety-sensitive positions. One of the attendants performed in-flight duties before being subjected to a pre-employment drug test.
Among the other allegations, Sun Country:
• Transferred an employee into the safety-sensitive position of in-flight supervisor, a flight attendant position, more than 180 days after she had taken a pre-employment drug test. However, Sun Country failed to have her retested, which was required because of the time that had elapsed since the initial screening.
• Failed to include seven aviation screeners in its random drug and alcohol testing pool. The screeners, a position that typically involves inspecting cargo, performed their duties on one occasion while not in the random testing pool.
Sun Country has 30 days from receiving the FAA's enforcement in writing to respond. Company spokesman Larry Chestler said in an e-mail: "Sun Country Airlines is working closely with the FAA to review these alleged violations, and to reach an appropriate resolution. We have no further comment at this time."